Shane Clanton outduels Darrell Lanigan for Monday night win at Volusia

Clanton's #25 Capital Race Car

Clanton’s #25 Capital Race Car

*Story composed from watching video as well as various social media reports. 

The final week of Georgia/Florida SpeedWeeks for Dirt Late Models kicked off on Monday night at the Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida with a $7,000-to-win UMP DIRTcar Nationals event. A total of 43 competitors signed in for competition on this first night of action at the half-mile clay oval located near the Daytona Beach area.

Casey Roberts led the way in Group 1 qualifying and overall with a fast lap of 15.469 seconds with Tim McCreadie posting the second best time in that grouping. Scott Bloomquist ran a lap of 15.761 seconds to beat out Josh Richards and the other qualifiers in Group 2.

2014 World of Outlaws Late Models champion Darrell Lanigan was fastest in Group 3 qualifying with a time of 15.652 seconds which bested Ricky Weiss and all others within the group. Earl Pearson, Jr. continued his return to the upper ranks of Dirt Late Model racing with a lap of 15.489 seconds to lead Billy Moyer and all other Group 4 contestants.

The top-4 finishers in each of the four heat races would transfer to the feature.

Casey Roberts took the lead from the outset in heat race #1 and paced the field for the entire distance of that preliminary to earn a place in the redraw. Also transferring to the feature from this race were Shane Clanton, Rodney Sanders and Tim McCreadie.

Scott Bloomquist led all the way to make the redraw out of heat race #2 over Kent Robinson, Josh Richards and Kenny Pettyjohn. Those four drivers moved on to the feature.

Darrell Lanigan bolted to the early lead from the pole in heat race #3 and went on to win over Ricky Weiss, Kyle Bronson and Tyler Bruening. Lanigan would go to the redraw while the other top finishers transferred to the feature.

Billy Moyer won heat race #4 by holding off Earl Pearson, Jr. to advance to the redraw. Terry English and Billy Ogle, Jr. also transferred to the feature from this preliminary.

Mason Zeigler, Brandon Sheppard and Boom Briggs transferred to the feature out of Last Chance Showdown #1 while Dennis Erb, Jr., Rick Eckert and Chub Frank made the main event out of the second LCS.

After the redraw among the heat race winners, Moyer was awarded the pole with Lanigan on the outside of the front row. Bloomquist and Roberts made up the second row on the feature starting grid.

The initial start of the 30-lap feature was waved off when UMP officials deemed that Moyer got off to an early jump. On the second attempt at a start, Moyer again got out to the early lead but that would prove to be short-lived when Langian drove around the outside of the Hall of Fame member as the cars roared through turns 3 & 4 on their way to complete the first circuit.

A dramatic moment occurred on lap 2 when the car of Kyle Bronson slowed suddenly and the fast approaching Rick Eckert was unable to avoid. The resulting contact sent Eckert’s car rolling over but the driver was uninjured.

During that caution period, the second running car of Moyer pulled off the track with mechanical issues.

On the ensuing restart, it looked as if so many feature races of 2014 might be repeated as Lanigan jumped away from the pack and began to distance himself from the second running Clanton. All the while, Sanders moved around Bloomquist for 4th and began to apply pressure on 3rd place Roberts.

As the laps clicked off, Clanton began to carve into the advantage held by Lanigan while the action remained fierce behind the lead duo between Roberts, Sanders, Bloomquist and McCreadie.

On lap 20 Bloomquist appeared ready to a make a move toward the front as he passed by Sanders for 4th and then Roberts for 3rd. At the same time, Clanton had completely closed the gap on Lanigan.

On lap 23, Clanton pulled alongside Lanigan but his way was blocked by the slower car of Zeigler. However, there would be another chance after Sanders and Pearson tangled to bring out a caution with just six laps to go.

On the ensuing restart, Clanton was able to drive under Lanigan as the cars raced down the back stretch and take the lead through turns 3 & 4. Just behind that battle, a three-wide fight was being staged for the third position that would eventually be wrested away by McCreadie.

Over the final five laps Clanton was able to drive away for the win.

Feature Finish: 1. Shane Clanton, 2. Darrell Lanigan, 3. Tim McCreadie, 4. Casey Roberts, 5. Rodney Sanders, 6. Scott Bloomquist, 7. Kenny Pettyjohn, 8. Josh Richards, 9. Dennis Erb, Jr., 10. Brandon Sheppard, 11. Ricky Weiss, 12. Kent Robinson, 13. Terry English, 14. Billy Ogle, Jr., 15. Tyler Bruening, 16. Mason Zeigler, 17. Earl Pearson, Jr., 18. Eric Wells, 19. Boom Briggs, 20. Chub Frank, 21. Mike Hammerlee, 22. Billy Moyer, 23. Kyle Bronson, 24. Rick Eckert

NASCAR driver Austin Dillon had to hold off fellow NASCAR driver and brother Ty Dillon to win the $5,000 UMP Modified feature. Nick Hoffman finished 3rd and was the top finishing UMP regular in the event.

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